As COVID-19 restrictions ease in certain parts of the country, businesses around the United States are reopening and welcoming back employees. While employee safety and business continuity are of paramount concern, employers should be mindful of potential state and federal investigations and enforcement actions. Though COVID-19-related investigations and enforcement actions initially focused on essential industries and healthcare facilities that remained open during the height of the pandemic, enforcement agencies appear to be broadening enforcement efforts and expanding their focus to other industries. Indeed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA or the Agency) has already opened hundreds of COVID-19-related inspections at the federal level, and state attorneys general and other state enforcement agencies continue to initiate their own workplace safety inquiries and investigations. This article is the second in a series designed to explore the risks to employers operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and will focus on employers’ potential exposure to state and federal investigations and enforcement actions related to COVID-19 workplace health and safety concerns.

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